By Christa Avampato
I learned about iTriage while covering the Social Good Summit in September. Todd Park, the CTO of the U.S. Government, used it as a practical example of what happens when government makes its data available to the private sector to building something useful to and needed by society. Park has pushed for this kind of collaboration in his new role, which he says is the most innovative one he’s ever had in his career which has included being a Co-founder of Athenahealth, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, and Senior Healthcare Advisor to Ashoka. When Todd Park says that a service like iTriage is worth investigating, people in the healthcare world listen.
iTriage began with 2 ER doctors who wanted to do more than create a symptom checker. Using government health data, they wanted to empower people to understand their symptoms and then help them take the correct steps to get themselves help as quickly and as easily as possible wherever they are. iTriage is the marketplace where consumers with health issues meet the healthcare providers who can assist them. With online and mobile platforms, consumers can take action wherever they are when they experience an onset of symptoms and this mobile capability is saving lives.
The company has captured powerful testimonials, written and via video, from customers who have used the service:
’A few months ago I stopped in to see my 89 year old grandma to find her not acting as herself. I quickly pulled out my phone and entered all obvious symptoms and sure enough she had a stroke and your app helped lead me to identify it and get her to the hospital to save her life from a blood clot in the brain. I can’t thank you enough for having a quick, easy to use application that saved my grandmother. You all are great.’
’I was not feeling well and then I got jaw pain. I looked the symptom up on the iTriage and saw myochardial infarction. I looked at the other symptoms and called 911. Sure enough I had a heart attack. iTriage saved my heart and my life. Thank you!’
iTriage took a number of actions to establish credibility with consumers and to make their services supremely easy to use. To build their credibility, they clearly and boldly explain at the outset that doctors created their products. Additionally, they have a medical advisory board and partners such as Harvard Medical School and the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine.
The user interface for the app (available for Android, iPhone, and iPad) and website are elegantly designed and prove that clever design can properly cue an abundance of complicated information without overwhelming the user. In addition to the symptom checker and medical help finder, the service also provides in-depth information on medications, medical procedures and providers (along with the ability to make an appointment from your device and to see reviews of the providers by other users) and stores your medical information including your health records, appointments, providers, insurance, medications (and set reminders to take them.) If you’d like to stay informed on health news through newsletters, iTriage offers that as well.
iTriage is a model of how government and technology can come together to improve the health and wellbeing of all people. Together, they’ve been able to create products and services that they could not create independently. Collaboration is a beautiful, and life-saving, activity.
Christa Avampato is a business strategist, freelance writer, and yoga and meditation teacher based in New York City. She blogs daily about the art of creative living at Christa In New York: Curating a Creative Life and is a health advisor for Good Greens, a gluten-free protein bar. This article was edited by David Greenberg from Parliament Tutors.